Bigg Boss is great for brand engagement: Nina Jaipuria

The latest season of reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ is all set to premiere on Colors on September 29, 2019 at 9 pm, and thereafter the show will be telecast Monday-Friday at 10.30 pm and and Saturdays and Sundays at 9 pm. Produced by Endemol Shine India, ‘Bigg Boss’ for its latest season has on board Vivo V17 Pro as the presenting sponsor. Salman Khan returns as the show’s host. 

The new season will be a powerplay and for the first time will give viewers the experience of two seasons packed into one. 

‘Bigg Boss’ is a multiplatform property which will be present across mediums for its audience. This time around, AR Instagram Filter will be introduced in the launch week on the digital front. Through #BB13TedhaTask, audiences will get to perform 5 tedha tasks every day and win a chance to partake in the ‘Bigg Boss; festivities. 

Voot will keep the digital viewers attuned to the exclusive content and latest ongoing of the house through its properties like ‘Unseen Undekha’, ‘Cutless’, ‘Bigg Buzz’ and a new addition like ‘Voot Night Live - BB Edition’. Also, increasing the interactivity this season will be a host of fun and engaging segments like ‘Video Vichaar’, ‘Chugli Booth’ and ‘Pulse Meter’, where users will get a chance to participate in the content of the show like never before. For the first time, viewers will get to vote on Voot and MyJio App. Besides the voting feature on MyJio App, there are a host of other interactive activities lined up for the users to enhance engagement, including ‘Sentimeter’, an interactive game called ‘Jio Luxury Bazaar’, and ‘Bigg Boss League’, which will be based on a predict-to-win model. The select winners will even get to visit the ‘Bigg Boss’ set and see Salman Khan live as a gratification. 

On the marketing front, a robust network and non-network plan with a mix of news, movies, music and regional channels along with a high impact OOH is being planned. 

As ‘Bigg Boss’ moves to Mumbai this season, the house will be adorned with many interesting pop art elements and bring colour palettes to give it a more youthful feel. 

Speaking about the launch of the show, Nina Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network Viacom18, said, “‘Bigg Boss’ over the years has become a sentiment synonymous to entertainment rather than just a show. From setting a benchmark in disruptive and voyeuristic content to creating the best platform for brand visibility – ‘Bigg Boss’ has instituted itself as a phenomenon. Staying true to our promise of providing differentiated entertainment, the new season of ‘Bigg Boss’ will tread beyond the usual and speed up the proceedings by presenting the action of two seasons packed in one. To add to the curveball is our host Salman Khan, whose association with ‘Bigg Boss’ for the past 10 years has only added more sheen and charisma to the show. This season. we welcome Vivo as our presenting sponsor, Lays as a special partner, while Ching’s Chinese,, BharatPe, Whirlpool and Helo are the associate sponsors.” 

Talking about the alliance, Jerome Chen, CEO, Vivo India, said, “At Vivo, our focus is to always look for exciting ways to connect with audiences and create a meaningful experience for them. ‘Bigg Boss’ is the undisputed king in the television reality space that provides dream opportunity for brands to reach out to their target audience in an innovative way. The tremendous reach of Colors and unique content of the show offers a splendid opportunity to Vivo to connect with the audience in the diverse, far-flung areas of the country. We are very excited about our partnership with Colors for ‘Bigg Boss’, and this season will undoubtedly delight the audience with its entertaining content.” 

Elaborating on the concept of the show, Manisha Sharma, Chief Content Officer, Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “‘Bigg Boss’ is a property that is year-marked in everybody’s calendar, whether it’s the celebrities who want to participate, the partners who want to associate or the creative thinkers who want to innovate. Every season, we give a new meaning to unpredictability and make the content entertaining as well as cohesive to appeal to all. This season will pick up the pace from the minute the contestants enter inside, drawing more traction and raking up multiple debates and discussions.” 

Talking about the format of the show, Abhishek Rege, CEO, Endemol Shine India, said,“Being one of the most popular non-scripted reality shows, we have always given an unconventional spin to ‘Bigg Boss’, making it more appealing. The franchise has not only grown manifold, but has also expanded its footprints in various languages and has been entertaining viewers across the board. This year, we have strived to present a concept that connotes speed and promptness that will enhance the drama and entertainment quotient like never before. We have relocated the set from Lonavala to Mumbai for the first time and have given the house a wondrous vibe. We hope the audience gets hooked on to this speedy journey that they will soon embark on.”

Adgully spoke to Nina Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network Viacom18, and Abhishek Rege, CEO, Endemol Shine India, at the launch event to know more about ‘Bigg Boss Season 13’.

You can expect a big ‘dhamaaka’ in the first 4 weeks: Nina Jaipuria

‘Bigg Boss’ is a prime property of Colors. What are the thoughts going on in your mind ahead of the launch of Season 13?
There is a lot of anxiety as well as excitement and anticipation because it is a big show for us and one of the biggest reality shows. From a format perspective, we needed to see how this season could be made different, how we could innovate, make sure that we have the right kind of contestants and housemates. Of course, we also need to have the right kind of monetisation to make such a show, which is not an easy task. Therefore, there is a lot of anxiety on all fronts, but at the same time it is also a great feeling. 

In a reality show, everything is intangible, nothing is planned. You still have to live with that ambiguity and make a show. As far as I am concerned, it is a great adrenaline rush for me. 

You have talked about the monetisation aspect. How has the economic slowdown impacted ad revenues for the show?
We are delighted to have Vivo on board for the show and we have signed a long-term deal with them as the Presenting Sponsor. We already have 7 sponsors in the bag. I am sure when the show kicks off we will have more sponsors on board. That’s the beauty of ‘Bigg Boss’, while it is voyeuristic entertainment, it is great for brand engagement because it showcases the brand in a way that no vanilla integration can do. 

Also, since it is a 100-day show, the brand integrations are done over a period of time and they are clutter breaking. Brands have seen the kind of integrations that we have done in the past and they understand the value of what brands can do. For example, we have created a ‘Vivo Zone’ in the Bigg Boss house, which offers a lot of possibilities to the brand. Moreover, a lot of tasks have been integrated with brands in the past. Despite the slowdown, brands see value and they go along with it because during a slowdown such brand integrations help them. 

Could you tell us about the format for Season 13?
We have strategically tried to bring in a shift in the format. We have tried to increase the pace and bring in a little bit of the action right up front because sometimes the show takes a little long to arrive at the drama because the contestants are settling in, in the house and everybody is gauging everybody.  This time, the format is such that the action starts right from the time you are in the house. You can expect a big ‘dhamaaka’ within the first four weeks. I know it is a 100-day show, but in the first four weeks we are going to set the tempo very differently. That’s the big shift and the intrigue factor. It is almost going to be like a semi-final within the first four weeks itself. 

This time around the contestants will be celebrities from all walks of life. They are also very youthful, vibrant and fast. So, this time around there will be no dull moment in the show.

What kind of traction have you seen for ‘Bigg Boss’ on Voot?
Voot complements everything that is seen on television. On TV you only see it at 10.30 pm Monday to Friday and on the weekends at 9 pm, but what Voot does is help us engage with the consumers 24x7. In fact, last year we had 700 million views on Voot. This time we are going a step further on Voot to make sure we have a lot of engagement. For example, we have a ‘Video Vichaar’, where contestants are given a chance to answer a question after every episode. Some of the responses will be showcased on Voot and on air as well. 

We have something called the ‘Pulse Meter’, where the audience can actually gauge the pulse of the contestants and there is a scoring of 1-5. There is ‘Chugli booth’, where the audience can send videos of any gossip that is happening to particular contestants and inform them what is happening behind their backs. 

To take digital a step further, this time we have brought Jio into the mix. People can vote not just on Voot, but the MyJio app as well. MyJio app has also introduced another set of initiatives, engagements and activities. For example, we have a supermarket and a luxury bazaar on Jio. There is a ‘Bigg Boss League’ where you can submit your predictions and if you are right, you can come on the set to meet Salman Khan. Thus, there will be a lot of engagements and excitement on Jio and on Voot. Along with this, we have a microsite on as well, where we will continue to post. 

We are also going to have AR filters on Instagram and within the first week itself the filters will go up. They are very dynamic, so we will change them every week. There will be a lot of activities on Digital, as Digital makes the show very viral, very buzzy and a lot of conversations happen organically. It actually complements what is happening on TV and creates better engagement for both viewers and the brands. There is a stubborn engagement for the brands as well.

How has the experience been of working with Salman Khan?
There is a sense of admiration, respect and fear that the contestants have about Salman Khan. It’s a lovely mix of emotions. For Colors, Salman is the soul of the show, he is mass and connected and has a huge fan following. The reason we can’t do without him is because he takes personal interest in the show. He has a point of view on the show, on the contestants, and he follows the show and knows what every contestant is doing. He pretty much knows what is right and wrong and he really hammers the contestants on weekends, depending on whether they are right or wrong.

Why did you decide to move from Lonavala to Mumbai for Season 13?
It was more out of convenience, because all contestants are celebrities this time. To be honest, the location is inconsequential. 

For this season, the Bigg Boss house has been done by Umang Kumar. There are beautiful colour palettes of violet, pink, black and white. We also have pop-up designs. It also gels with the way we want to depict the show this time, which is young, vibrant and youthful. 

How has ‘Bigg Boss’ been doing in the regional languages?
Bigg Boss Marathi is working out very well for us. Viewership of Bigg Boss Marathi on Voot has gone up by 3X times.

We are going back to the basics: Abhishek Rege, CEO, Endemol Shine India 

How were the contestants chosen for Season 13?
With all celebrities this season, we are going back to the basics in a way. People want to see a prototype of the person that they liked in the previous season. With the commoners, such flashbacks do not happen immediately. You expect a little bit of dissonance. That is why it is a great idea to bring back known faces, celebs from different walks of life. Once you do that, there is something for people to look forward to. 

Though Bollywood celebs for a large part of the contestants, we try to also get on board sportspersons and newsmakers. But at the end of day, not all of them might come on board. 

As a production house, how are you seeing the economic slowdown impacting this industry?
It is affecting everyone. Broadcasters will see a direct impact on ad sales and shows that do not get back that kind of revenues will face certain pressure on the costs. Since we have a larger relationship with most broadcasters, we try to work around them so that certain years which are easier on them will have some kind of impact on us as well. We are a B2B business, so we are slightly more insulated compared to the channels. 

Could you tell us about Endemol’s growth as well as plans for the coming year?
In the last year and a half, my focus has largely been on how do we go with the business of reality shows, and also how do we go beyond TV. Hence, we have ventured into web series as well. Last year, we launched ‘Test Case’ with ALTBalaji, this year we launched ‘M.O.M.’. We are now coming up with Season 2 of ‘Test Case’ and another series for ALTBalaji. We are also working on a Netflix show, called ‘Bombay Begum’. We have tied up with Hotstar for a series, called ‘Pinoza’, which will be called ‘Arya’ in India. We have partnered with Ram Madhwani’s company Equinox. We are also trying to get into the international space. We recently got the rights to the books by Amitav Ghosh. Shekhar Kapoor is heading it as creative talent and we have Justin Pollard, who wrote for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, as a writer. 

Our year on year growth has been very good. 

How do you see the growth in the regional markets?
The growth has been very well indeed. Bengali is already exploited and I am seeing a lot of growth in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malyalam markets. Telugu caters largely to the national advertisers as well, while Tamil caters to the hyper local retail. In these markets, apart from ‘Bigg Boss’, we are also doing other shows, including a daily soap for Vijay TV. It is an idea based on the Star catalogue and the show is doing very well. 

We are now getting into the business of non-scripted and scripted content. Our attempt is to have a 50/50 kind of equation in the next 3-4 years.


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